tv U.S. House of Representatives CSPAN September 17, 2014 8:00pm-9:01pm EDT
>> coming up on c-span. ahead of the homeland security department and the fbi director talk about national security threats. then, secretary of state john kerry at a hearing on the presidents strategy combating isis. the house voted this afternoon to train and equip the syrian rebels. the new york times reports that the house divided along unusual lines. this was after arsenal obama support leader. was -- took one outsized importance.
pelosiiner and nancy actively backed the legislation. the senate hopes to pass it as soon as thursday. on thego to a hearing threats of ices and other terrorist groups. secretary,d security and senater, director. this is to an a half hours. -- this is two and a half hours. >> the committee on homeland security will come to order. the committee is meeting to examine worldwide threats to the security of the homeland. before we begin today, i would like to remind our guests that
demonstrations from the audience, including the use of signs and placards, as was verbal outbursts, or a violation of the rules of the house trade i would like to thank our guests for their cooperation and a quorum. i now recognize myself of the opening statement. secretary johnson, director olson, we have asked you to come before the committee to discuss the array of threats facing the u.s. homeland. the chief concern of ours is the proliferation of terrorist safe havens around the world. the 9/11 commission's number one recommendation was to use all elements of national power to deny sanctuary to terrorist groups. have seen safe havens spread with alarming speed. such territory makes it far easier for terrorist groups to train recruits and hatch plots. , nong this administration
lesson three extremist sanctuaries have emerged or expanded in syria, iraq, and libya. as thehanistan administration goes forward with the plans to withdraw our troops , we might see terrorists reclaiming the territory from which they planned 9/11. our obvious and most immediate concern is the islamic state of iraq and syria, or ices. i agree with the president that this group does not represent a legitimate state. butchersher a cabal of committing a violent and perverted brand of islam. it should never have been taken -- have taken the beheading of two americans for our government to wake up the american people to this menace. months known for many
that isis was surging and represented one of the top rest of the united states. the white house did it without taking action and the president play down the danger. despite recent united states strikes against the group, isis still holds thousands of square miles of territory where they are able to operate their terrorist army. we seen estimates that indicate that they may have up to 30,000 fighters. 2000 fighters or so are americans and europeans. these radicalized westerners represent an exceptionally grave threat to the u.s. am slammed -- homeland because of their training comics in his connections, ease of travel, and the west.nowledge of today we expect to hear about the administration strategy to detect, deter, and disrupt these foreign fighters. clear, our nation is at war with this group. the twisted ideology it is seeking to express.
we must consider all instruments of national power to roll back and defeat them now. not take the fight to the enemy overseas, we risk fighting them here at home. -- military efforts much must include airstrikes in syria. top military advisor to the president, including the chairman of the joint chiefs, general martin dempsey, have it safedebate isis haven in syria must be destroyed. i agree with them. i hope the president is taking the advice of his top commanders and generals in the pentagon. isis is not the only threat we face. i hope we hear today how your agencies are working together to address the wider danger from violent islamic extremism here at home and abroad. the white house has presented a false narrative in recent years
about the threat. they claim that al qaeda was on its heels, on the path the defeat. in reality, al qaeda networks have grown and materialized into a deadly global franchise with a spider web of affiliates and ideologically similar groups attempting to build the power vacuums across the middle east, africa, and southeast asia. the ideological struggle against violent, islamic extremists is taking place not just overseas, but also here at home. than 70ve been more homegrown violent jihadist plots or attacks in the united states and's 9/11. according to the congressional research group service. more than two thirds of them have been uncovered or have taken place in the past five years. many of the suspects were islamistsd by online
propaganda, including the boston marathon bombings and the fort hood attacker. these are the tools that isis excels at utilizing. federal authorities indicted just yesterday a u.s. citizen money,chester for rising recruiting, and for zoning training for ices. while the united states continues to battle threats posed by terrorist organizations, we must also be vigilant to protect the homeland against asymmetric threats like cyberattacks from states and nonstate actors. president obama recently noted that the cyber threat is one of the most serious economic and national security challenges we face as a nation. that, many experts believe the nation is woefully unprepared to protect itself in this domain. in a recent report from the bipartisan policy center 9/11 commissioners, describing cyber preparedness as pre-september 11 levels. last month, the defense
secretary hagel said the world is exploding all over. i agree with him. we afford to the testimony today surveying the threat landscape and elaborating on how we are countering those set against us and our interests. before i turn it over to the ranking member, i would like to note that this is his first time as the fbi director -- that the fbi director has appeared before this committee. sir, we have adjacent presence here today. that the members be cordial to him so that we could have his return appearance before the committee. additionally, this is likely one of the last congressional appearances for matt olson. he has announced his retirement. we thank you for your service over the years, 25 years of service to the government. we appreciate you being here and
everything you have done to protect americans here in the homeland. it has been a real honor to work with you. secretary johnson, you have been on the job for nine months. i appreciate your good work and outstanding relationships we have built over those years -- months that you have taken office look forward to having you appear before this committee again. thank you for your -- i was in new york yesterday and secretary johnson was leading the governors of new york and new jersey, the fbi, the cvt, homeland security officials in such a professional manner. it was really refreshing to see that kind of leadership coming from our department on a very serious topic. thank you for your leadership, sir. with that, the chair recognizes the ranking member. >> thank you. holding this very
important hearing. we are fortunate to have an exceptionally accomplished and knowledgeable panel of witnesses to discuss the current threat. secretary johnson, welcome back. -- offered useful informative testimony, and expected date to be in a different. a great pleasure to have the bureau could just make in today's discussion. as the chairman has said, this is the fbi's maiden voyage before this committee. we look forward to your testimony. i hope that it will not be your last. we will work on that. olson, your years of service , the chairman has artie spoken to, thank you for all your contributions you have made. --m certain the fraser
future is still very bright for you. thank you very much. i wish you the best. mr. chairman, 13 years ago this week, just days after the horrific september 11 said -- terrorist attack, george w. bush addressed the commerce in the nation. in his address, president bush stated that our work on terror begins with al qaeda and it will not in and tell every terrorist group of global reach has been found, stopped, and defeated. 13 years later, there's been some success out of digger against core al qaeda, but not all terrorists groups have been found, stopped, and if needed. those who were in the audience when president bush delivered his address could not have predicted how this terrorist threat would evolve. at this time, congress was completely focused on preventing another large-scale attack on u.s. soil. in 2001, we understood updated
to be a centralized organization. little thought was given to the prospect that al qaeda would franchise terrorism and inspire satellite groups. the prospect that an attack would be carried out by a loan will actor -- lone wolf actor. -- it was barely in the discussion. we were focused on those groups taking human lives. we did not predict that in the decade after september 11 state actors or terrorist groups would andto devastate our economy still viable intellectual property by targeting our cyber infrastructure. finally, we could not have imagined that on the eve of the 13th anniversary of 9/11, another american president would become before the american people to make a case for defeating and destroying a
terrorist organization. indeed, the threat from the islamic state of iraq and syria is legitimate and warrants attention. that said, the situation on the ground in syria is fluid and complex. defeating and destroying i saw -- isis is a no easy task. i cannot express enough the need for vigilance and care, particularly issues where we decide to partner with try andals on syria to beat ices. in addition, we need to remain vigilant and improve our preparedness and resilience at home. last month's arrest of don morgan illustrates my long-standing there that we must reject specific at the religious profiles of would-be terrorists. violent extremism has the race, ethnicity and religion, or culture, and there is no single
profile or pathway for individuals who, to embrace violent extremism. since september 11, state and local law enforcement have received grant funding from the federal government to prepare and prevent terrorist activities. we saw the value of this grant --ding after the bombing of at last year's boston marathon. as the police were protective gear and stabilized the situation. more recently, there was an example of what i believe to be an improper use of federal equipment and ferguson, missouri. better oversight and tighter those resources are used by state and local partners is one area that needs to be improved. another area that is a perennial challenge to information sharing
with state and local law enforcement, even with fusion centers and joint terrorist acts forces, especially after september 11, we see that information sharing can be improved, given threats from ices, al qaeda, and lone wolf actors. the 13 years of september 11 -- since september 11 has showed us that we cannot have a myopic view of terrorist threats. it is my hope that today we engage in a productive dialogue about the variety of threats to our nation. thank you. i yield back. >> i think the ranking member. opening statements may be cemented for the record. we are pleased to have here a distinct panel of witnesses before us. ,irst, secretary jeh johnson sworn in december 23, 2013.
secretary of the department of homeland security. secretary johnson served as general counsel, where he was part of the senior management team and lead more than 10,000 military and civilian thought that lawyers. he also oversaw the development of legal access for many of our nations counter terrorism policies and spearheaded reforms to military commissions at what tom abate in 2009. -- at guantanamo bay in 2009. james cohn became the seventh director of the federal bureau of investigation in september of 2013. it has a long history of service to the department. it includes holding positions as both the assistant u.s. attorney and u.s. attorney to the district of new york and assistant u.s. attorney to the eastern district of virginia when he was conducting project
exile. i want to thank you for your efforts on that. a deputy attorney general at the justice department. prior to his appointment, he held senior positions at lockheed martin and bridgewater associates. again, thank you for being here. last but not least, this is his last appearance before this committee, but i'm sure we will hear from him more times after this. director matthew olson has served as director of the national counterterrorism center since august of 2011. as a to joining, he served general counsel for the national security agency, where he was the chief legal officer for nsa, and the present legal advisor to the nsa director. he has a long record of service that includes time spent at the fbi with the department of justice and at the guantánamo review task force. again, we thank you for your service come as her.
the full written statements of these witnesses will appear in the record. the chair now recognizes the secretary of homeland security for his opening statement. >> thank you, chairman. ranking member thompson. the committee has my prepared opening days of -- opening statement. i will not read it. , i will moments here mention a couple of things good one, thank you for this holding this hearing. it is important. of publicst the type opportunity from congressional oversight of our counterterrorism efforts that i welcome. this will not be my last appearance here. it is not my first. i want to say thank you to my friends and colleagues to my left and right for joining me. the director and i have known each other for 25 years when we were's assistant u.s. attorneys together.
-- 19 88 and 1998 1989 did i have known him a very long time. mr. olson i've known for six years now, going back to late 2008, early 2009. i hired matt to be general counsel of nsa, along with general alexander, we hired him to be general counsel of nsa could he did a terrific job there. he has been a terrific colleague in the national security counterterrorism world. i and others will miss him very much. clarity ofs his delivery, interns of his intelligence assessments. i mention my personal relationships with these two gentlemen to highlight the fact that homeland security, law enforcement, and the intelligence community have a very good working relationship in dealing with counterterrorism matters. we are committed to working
together on these issues. we are committed to information sharing. are we committed to a collegiality. we encourage that among our staff. director and i met with other members of the national security team in a periodic meeting to discuss national security topics. we do this often. the other point i would like to that isis isn, is the most prominent terrorist organization on the world stage right now. it is our focus. from my homeland security perspective, we have to stay focused on a range of terrorist threats. al qaeda in the arabian peninsula, for example. they are still active. there are other threats. they emanate from that region and other parts of the world that we and homeland security and national security have domain -- remain focused on. we have taken another steps in
recent months to a dress aviation security. for example, you are aware of the enhances that i directed in july and august. we are addressing the issue of foreign fighters in and out of syria, which i'm sure we will ,iscuss this morning as well as for example, enhanced countering violent extremism efforts here at home through various outreach programs that we have, including the pilot program the attorney general announced earlier this week. we are doing a number of things that will be -- we will be pleased to discuss with you at this morning's hearing. i look forward to your questions. thank you again for holding this hearing. >> i thank you. now recognizes the director for his testimony. >> thank you. it is a pleasure to be before you first time. and to be joined by my friends. to matt also, the american people will never fully know how much he has none to keep them
safe. a lot of people in this room know and will be forever grateful. waschairman, as you know i in government for almost a decade. that is why i may have a different perspective grid when i came back to government a year ago. i discovered that the threat had changed in two ways first, thanks largely to our minimum women in uniform, we have taken the fight to the core al qaeda tumor in the afghanistan passion -- pakistan region. at the same time, we have experienced a metathesis of the cancer. haverogeny of al qaeda sprung up and ungoverned spaces in north africa, the gulf, the mediterranean come in ways that are familiar to this committee. andmanifestation in syria iraq is obviously huge example of that metastasis. that metastasis, coupled with the phenomenon of travelers seeking to go to the safe havens to get the experience of being a terrorist, to make those connections, is a way in which
that change strikes me. i am very concerned about the going. i'm even more concerned about the coming. there will be a terrorist diaspora out of those areas, especially syria, that we wake up everyday worrying about. the second way in which the terrorism that has changed ask on with the way the internet has changed all of our lives. someone can do it in their pajamas in their basement. these are the home run, violent extremist that we worry about. they get all the poison they need and the training they need to kill americans and away that is very hard for us to spot between the time they emerge from their basement and maybe kill innocent americans. those are the two ways in which i have seen the terrorism threat changed significantly since i was last in government. secretary johnson mention cyber. all of us have connected our entire life to the internet.
that is where our children play. that is where we bank. that is where my health care is. that is where a grid going for structure is very that is where our nation secrets are. people want to hurt my kids. they want to still my enemy. they want to damage our infrastructure. they will distill a secret. that is when a company to be effective, all of us need to be able to address the threats in cyberspace. i think that making sure the abf the fbi's position to do that will dominate the years i have left in my term. it is an honor to be here to represent the people of the fbi. i believe i have the greatest job in the world. it is a pleasure to be back in public service. thank you. >> thank you. and certainly a pleasure to have you here today as well. i forgot that we share the fact that we both have children on social media, which can also be challenging at times. the chair now recognizes director olson. >> thank you grandma could good morning. thank you for inviting me. closed, meet in
classified sessions. this is a really important opportunity for us to speak to the committee in an open session at the american people about the threats we face. i also want to say to you thank , we appreciate the committee support in our efforts. i was bent at the couple of minutes talking about the threat and then take a moment about how the threat that's into the broader terrorism landscape that we see. isilt, by every measure, has emerged as a dangerous organization. they have exploited the civil war in, taken advantage of secretary and tensions in iraq. to a trench itself in both countries. -- thankssh sankar it raisin rock in syria. -- to establish sanctuaries
in iraq and syria. it uses a makes of techniques from terrorist operations, hit-and-run tactics, to paramilitary salts. -- results. itselfup is itself -- is as a leader of a global jihadist movement. it operates the most sophisticated propaganda machine of any terrorist organization. it turns out timely, high-quality media. it uses social media to secure a widespread following. isil has asree that many as 30,000 fighters. aom this position, they pose multifaceted threat to the united states. this past january, the leader of the u.s. willat be in direct conflict with the group. there is little group that isil
is is the strategic enemy. this threat is most acute in iraq. the group safe haven and resources in iraq pose an immediate and direct threat to our presence there, particularly our embassy in baghdad. to thoseat includes americans held hostage by isil. potential to use it safe havens to planning chordate attacks closer to europe, and potentially the united states. this threat became real earlier this year with the shooting at a brussels museum that killed four people. then with the arrest we saw in france of an isil operative. at this point, we have no information that isil is plotting an attack in the united states. what we do know, as my colleague , thousands of foreign fighters have crossed into syria over the past three years.
this includes more than 2000 europeans and more than 100 americans. many of these fighters that have flocked to syria have flocked to isil's ranks. we are worried that they will gain training and return to their own countries. some possessing western passports and travel document straight we are also concerned about the policy that positive on growing extremism based on information on the internet. secondly, this phenomenon, the , and thesil translation of the terrorism threat. we have seen this movement diversify and expand in the aftermath of the up people and upheaval. isil is just one of the groups we are concerned about. al qaeda core continues to support attacks in the west and
is the leader of a global jihadist movement. in syria, we have seen veteran al qaeda fighters travel from past that pakistan. branches infficial yemen and somalia continue to remain active. in the arabian peninsula has tried to take in a plane down three times. and the boston marathon is a sober reminder of the threats from self-directed extremist. the terrorist networks that exploded -- exploited the lack of government means they are now active in 11 insurgencies in the islamic world. identifying and disrupting this threat is increasingly challenging. the groups are adapting. are the trying to avoid fences and intelligence efforts.
finally, this closure of the stolen nsa documents, terrorists are changing how they communicate. they are moving to more secure platforms for they are adopting encryption. avoiding communication altogether. we are seeing this. this is a problem for us in many areas where we have limited human collection and depend on intercept this communication to identify terrorist threats and disrupt plots. threat, the men and women remain vigilant around the clock. we are dedicated to working with our counterterrorism partners at ,he fbi to identify the threats degrade networks, and disrupt both at home and abroad. we appreciate the committees continued support and thank you for this opportunity. i look for dear questions progress thank you, director. i know recognize myself for questions. >> we mentioned that there is no
specific credible threat to the homeland. having said that, i don't think i have seen a threat environment any higher. as it exists overseas. with the spread of the so-called --amic state in the labonte labonte. worker, ittish a really got the attention of the american people as to what kind of evil we are dealing with. changed popular opinion in terms of driving policy to eliminate a threat that they don't want to see here in united states. ofpetrating those acts brutal savagery. at the same time you have core al qaeda in what appears to be a competition now with isis. to see who is the true heir apparent to bin laden. it is a dangerous competition. therey i see it is that
is no better way to do that than attack the west. 30,000 of these isis fighters, 15,000 of foreign fighters. , u.s.00 americans citizens. many of these fighters have western passports. the ease to travel back and forth obviously concerns homeland security officials and the intelligence community and the fbi. so, first i want to congratulate the fbi on the half a dozen or so arrests that have been made, including two in my backyard. individuals traveling, wanting to travel to syria, or those who may have come back who could have pulled off a terrorist attack. you stop that. at the same time, i mixed concern that the is something we don't know. ofon't know what our level evidence is as to who is on the ground in both united states and
syria that could imply future attacks in the nine states. wequestion to the panel -- have seen the florida gentlemen, went to syria, came back. he did lead united states and come back virtually undetected. that is the kind of profile that i am concerned about them want to stop your what assurances can you give this committee that we will be able to stop that type of foreign traveler, foreign fighter from coming back as a train jihadist and killing americans. >> thank you, mr. chairman. it is something that the people of this table and the thousands of people we represent work on yesterday -- every day. we try to use our resources here and abroad to try to identify those who want to travel. our first mission is to identify them and lock them up before
they want to go. if they go, we try to keep very close tabs on them. we will interdict them overseas for that is our preference. or we can mock them up when they arrive. very difficult, as you alluded to. we have in a norma's, wonderful, free country. there are thousands of wasted get the united states to syria. of thousands of americans who travel for legitimate purposes every day. sorting among that group to find the bad guys is something that we spent every single day focused on. we've had good success, but i'm not overconfident even the nature of the challenge. chairman, -- the question of our degree of confidence is one that the three of us talk about. my impression is that from the information that we know, and
the systems that we have in place to track those who attempted travel to syria, from that i think we have a reasonable degree of competence. not a high degree of competence, but a reasonable degree. we know the numbers, and we know who is attempting to travel, and the fbi has done a very good job investigating, arresting, and prosecuting those attempting to leave the country. as you mentioned, there was another arrest yesterday. we are enhancing our ability to share information in the national security committee of the u.s. government and with our allies. we are evaluating ways to potentially limit the travel of those who want to leave this country to go to syria and pickup the fight. that is something we are in the midst of doing right now.
as i think you know, we have been focused on the issue of foreign fighters for some food of months. in february, i said that syria had become a matter of homeland security, because of this issue of foreign fighters. , interdicting the travel of those who might want to leave this country and go there is an area of top concern right now. the greatests threat to homeland. i know you one of the first to say that read i appreciate that. >> i would just add that this is an effort that begins with good intelligence. the better intelligence that we can get at who is traveling into syria, who is seeking to leave syria, the better position we will be to apply the various multiple layers of screening that are available to prevent those travelers from injuring into the united states. -- entering into the united states. one area's we have been focused on for many months, the area
most encouraged by recently as the level attention that this is getting with our allies in europe. we have been able to work with them and share information to interdict individuals seeking to travel. on the otherto hit threat that is within the homeland. this idea of home-grown, von extremism. radicalization from within. there are two very glossy publications. one is inspire magazine, which is, with the recent addition, page after page of to make bombs. this one from eisen street a very glossy -- this one from isis. one that is used and radicalizing
american the united states. not only to bring them to syria, they are also trying to pull off an act of terrorism in the united states. they are already here. know that the attorney general had a reason announcement on this. what the fbi and homeland security is doing to violentthis home-grown, extremist. ? >> german, the department of homeland security for some time forhas had programs outreach into communities in the united states that themselves have a capacity to reach those that might turn to violence. we have recently taken that program and put it into a separate office which reports
directly to the deputy secretary and me to enhance its visibility and establish it as a priority. our outreach people are all over the country in various different programs. i have personally participated in these outreach programs. i did one in suburban chicago earlier this year, where there is a community. i have another one next week in ohio. i agree with you that with the literature and the social media, and i have been through it myself, that heightens the risk of domestic-based extremism. tools of massrn violence through literature like what you're just reference. our engagements. we are stepping it up. the attorney general announced earlier this week a pilot project focused on three cities. we are all the disappointing end.
-- we are all participating in. >> thank you. >> director? >> i would like to add on the enforcement side that we are in every community in this country through our joint terrorism task force to work with our partners to define these people and lock them up. that is before they can harm somebody. we are trying to make sure that we are touching communities of interest. that we are in an online way seeing what is going on so that we can spot folks, ssn, and take them out of action if they are a threat. as we discussed, in a country this big, this free, with the material that is available, it can be a challenge for us. if they are sophisticated in their social media. it makes it very difficult. >> they are very sophisticated in their social media. it makes it very difficult. director olson? >> a fundamental tenet of the strategy that we work on together is that the
neighborhoods and communities that are at risk, they are in the best position to identify those undergoing radicalization. an important part of the effort is to give them the tools, education, and knowledge. those magazines like you dish it can influence individual. to be a little work with state and local law enforcement communities and federal law enforcement communities to intervene when somebody is on that path. >> thank you. i recognize the ranking member. >> thank you. , there havehnson been comments made relative to isil making attempts to enter from our southern border. can you for the sake of this whether --nd a kate indicate whether or not there is any evidence of that happening or if anybody has been captured trying to enter our southern border.
? >> congressman, we see no specific intelligence or evidence to suggest at present that isil is attempting to infiltrate this country through our southern border. i am sure that my intelligence colleague could add to that. having said that, we do need to be vigilant. we do need to be aware of the risks of potential infiltration by isil or any other terrorist group. we have tools in place to monitor that and to do that. >> thank you. mr. olson? >> yes, i agree with secretary johnson. there has been a very small number of sympathizers who have posted messages on social media about this.
we have seen nothing to indicate that there is any sort of operational effort or plot to infiltrate or move operatives from isil into the united states through the southern border. >> thank you. director? >you talk about cyber security new real of the threats. this committee has on a bipartisan basis came together and has promoted what we think is one of the solutions to thatss the vulnerabilities exist. can you just enlighten the committee a little more on where you see some of those cyber hreats coming from?
>> thank you, mr. thompson for they come from everywhere. something like an evil layer cake with nationstates at the top, terrorist groups, international criminal syndicates, activists, thoughts, criminals, shot abusers, and pedophiles. because the whole world is on the internet, because our world is where every kind of bad person that you can imagine, that is with a threat is. >> thank you. mr. secretary, as you know that legislation would have given dhs the resources and authorities that it needs to perfect and networks andian critical infrastructure. do you see that type of legislation being important as
we look at this or nobility? >> for a much so. -- very much so. i appreciate your leadership in this regard. i am aware that the bill that came out of this community passed the full house. -- this committee passed the full house. i believe it is critical. i wrote an op-ed recently on the importance of cyber security legislation. there israel bipartisan support in the house and senate for cyber security legislation did i think it is critical to our national security. >> thank you. mr. olson, with respect to to the extentism, that you can give information in this kind of setting, and you seen any difference in the recruitment and sophistication of isis or isil in comparison to
other terrorist groups? >> i would say that what we have seen from isil is a very sophisticated rock again to effort. the types of information they are putting out on the internet in particular using social media really exceed the types of propaganda that we seen from other groups. certainly that effort has been quite a sophisticated and extensive. i think that we still -- it to be seen the impact of that information on potential recruits. is thet i can point to number of foreign fighters. this there is a significant number of foreign fighters that have traveled to syria. then, many of those joining isil ranks. from that perspective, it is obviously a concern that the
propaganda is having an impact. point, with respect to bond extremism and how we , that is something you see our allies doing that maybe we should adopt as we look at how we as a country address that here? with -- inrk coronation with our allies, including the united kingdom, which has a strong program countering violent extremism. we can learn from their lessons. they have had a little more experience with it than we have. our teams at fbi and dhs interact regularly with our u.k. colleagues to identify ways to improve our efforts in this regard. >> thank you. you'll back, mr. chairman. >> we recognize the man from new york.
me join you in welcoming the witnesses. it has been a privilege to work with you. thank you for what you have done. secretary johnson, you get the ground running. i want to thank you for that. important to remind people, even in new york, of the constant terrorist threat we face. it does show the cooperation that is needed among all the counterterrorism forces in our country. you have mentioned that is not just ices, but it is also the different threats we have to face. one group, and i am only mentioning this because it was in the media, his or anything you can tell us regarding that. ? if not, i understand. >> the discussion of specific
organizations should be left to a classified setting. >> ranking member thompson ask a question about working with our allies. oft are the plus and minuses prime mr. cameron's proposal that passport should be taken away from people who traveled to syria. what are the plus and minuses from your perspective of taken with her passports? >> thank you, mr. king. that is probably a question better answer by secretary johnson. quickly, it is of interest to us. i have met with the home secretary to try and understand better how that is working for them. among the concerns that i would have is what is the due process that would come with that in the united ace. how would i protect sources and methods? how would we be able to use the information to make a showing
that it would be necessary? i'm interested in the tool that might help us identify and incapacitate these people. i would want to understand the details of the better. >> what would be the advantages of allowing them back into the country and monitoring them? is that too risky? >> we do it on a case-by-case basis. sense.es it makes under limited circumstances, we let them in, cover them closely to see who they connect with. sometimes it makes sense to have them come back in the country and lock them up right away. it is hard to say. in the abstract. i agree with the fbi director passportsnsion of should be considered on a case-by-case basis. the state department has the authority to suspend passports. suspension andt revocation of passports can be done next decided days -- expedited basis.
in a matter of hours or days. it is not necessarily need to be a lengthy process. given the current environment, that we need to seriously consider limiting the ability of certain individuals to travel. either to go from one foreign country to another or from our country to another country. >> director olson? >> i think this was touched on by the chairman. about aerned are you rivalry between core al qaeda and isis as far as to get themselves back in the headlines, to reestablish themselves as the number one ?errorist force >> i am very concerned about that.
petitionups are income with one another for attention, fundraising, recruitment. showay to compete is to that you are the biggest and baddest group out there. i think that the environment we are in now presents additional challenges. i agree with the premise in your question. director olson? >> i agree with secretary johnson. i think there is this concern about competition among these groups. one particular example of this would be that the recent announcement by al qaeda core of the new affiliate in the subcontinent. that was announced on social media on september 3. it could be viewed as an effort by core al qaeda to reassert its supremacy. sorts of efforts can be viewed in the context of white need -- might be an emerging
competition between groups. it is logic of compelling. you're not going to be the legal and a global jihad without striking america. a drive that sense of competition my colleagues have talked about. >> the chair recognizes mr. jackson lee. >> i too would like to thank the chairman and ranking member for this hearing. i would also like to thank each of the presenters, members of the panel, for your service to the nation. having served on this committee from the beginning of the recovery. when the select committee on homeland security was first formed to create this department. i know how important the issues that all of you gentlemen are speaking of art to the nation and the security of america. even init is important, this meeting, to hold up the constitution, to tell all of a maliciousuld have
intent towards united states that we will not sacrifice our values, our liberty, our commitment to equality and justice for their terroristic ways. i think all of you for recognizing that we are not here islam or the muslim people. we are here to ensure this security and safety v9 states of america. it is to say that important to note from an that indicated that the beginare the idea of isil
in 2006, long before president obama, before the american withdrawal from -- that had at that time popular backing. let me be very clear. i believe that our president has been very effective in trying to both downsize and bring down the and is well addressed the national security of the american people. i will not vote for an authorization for war. we cannot talk about isil without doing something. i will vote today for ensuring , in thisr fighters ,nstance, the free syrian army is will trying to do the job. that means that we here in the united states much -- must be very sure about what we're doing to protect the homeland. secretary johnson, would ask a follow-up question on my
, mr. thompson. coming from texas, do you feel that you have sufficient federal resources on the border to, if there was such an intrusion, that your staffing between the border patrol, intelligence, working with your colleagues, do you believe that you have the necessary resources? todayhave more resources than we have had at any time previously. over the last several years, we at the southwest border an unprecedented level of resources, in terms of people, technology, vehicles, and other equipment. as you know, i am sure congresswoman, apprehension have gone down. they have gone up this year because of the spike in the rio grande valley sector. but we could use more.
the bill passed by the senate last year, 744, would have gone a long way to provide additional resources and personnel. that is for the southwest border. >> thank you. i wanted to be clear, if i could. i do support that legislation. i would rather have the federal resources than unpaid national guard that is been put down by the state of texas. let me quickly ask a question for all of you. we know that we have been acted all of us have been hacked. the question is are you able to discern the sanction between the identity thief hackers and that of the state hackers that are coming in as terrorists on the cyber security grids? could you all answer that question? of this nation are seemingly targets of recruitment for isil.
women coming from western , arens, maybe uneducated we having a special target to recognize the concerns for the women and how he would stop that? if three of you could answer that. >> congresswoman let me begin with the question on cyber. we face cyber threats from a range of different types of actors. i think we do a pretty good job -- andecting been indicating the type of actor for each specific attack. it is a range from private .ndividuals to others i will refer to my colleagues. >> i agree with secretary johnson. asis increasingly difficult they get increasingly sophisticated in their techniques. job of reasonably good sorting them out. with respect to the recruitment
of women, you are right. there is a targeted effort by isil to attract spouses of fighters, given the nature of their orient tation. they're trying to attract them from all over the west to start families in their warped world. >> i would only act to what director comey said about the recruitment of women as being the most barbaric aspects of what isil has done in the iraq. it is a huge concern to us. if i may add, ms. jackson lee, you held up the constitution in today's constitution day and i uld say that the director -- held a swearing in for those of us who reaffirm our commitment to the constitution with the workforce. i thay reflects the commitment ithin nctc and the broader
intelligence community to our fidelity to the constitution. >> i believe i asked for unanimous consent for this. but i'd also ask for unanimous consent which i look to refer to the chairman's review h.r. 5488, which is legislation that is called no fly for foreign fighters. it doesn't tie your hands but it refines the watch list to make sure that everyone that should be on it is on it, particularly since the foreign fighter concept is continuing to grow. i ask unanimous consent to introduce that into the work and it forward to discussing with you gentlemen. > thank you, mr. chairman. over 100 americans have joined isil. do we know howy